AIR 9000 Phase 8 – Future Naval Combat Helicopter – MH-60R "Romeo"

2013 Australian MH-60R.jpgThe Government is in the process of acquiring 24 MH-60R Seahawk Romeo maritime combat helicopters, associated support systems and weapons. As part of this process a Joint Industry Working Group has been formed by the Department of Industry and the Department of Defence to support industry.

On this page you will find information about the project, the working group, and opportunities for industry.

What is the AIR 9000 Phase 8 project?

The Department of Defence project AIR 9000 Phase 8 seeks to acquire 24 MH-60R Seahawk Romeo maritime combat helicopters, associated support systems, and weapons. These will replace the existing capability provided by the Royal Australian Navy’s 16 aging S-70B-2 Seahawks, and the cancelled Seasprite project. The primary roles of the MH-60R are Anti-Submarine and Anti-Surface Warfare, while secondary roles include surveillance, search and rescue, and utility functions.

The MH-60R is a “military off the shelf” solution, and the aircraft will be acquired from the United States Navy (USN) under a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) arrangement. This means that the USN is the prime contractor.

All aircraft will be delivered in standard USN configuration, with minor modification work scheduled to occur during the period 2018 – 2020. The project will also necessitate limited modifications to both the Anzac class frigates and Hobart class air warfare destroyers, and the AIR 9000 Phase 8 program office is currently planning this work.

The Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) aims to deliver the first aircraft in 2014, and to reach Initial Operating Capability in 2015. Final Operational Capability, including all ship and aircraft modifications is planned to be achieved by 2023. 

For more information, please see the AIR 9000 Phase 8 project page.

What is the Joint Industry Working Group?

The formation of an Australian Government MH-60R Joint Industry Working Group was announced by the Minister for Defence on 16 June 2011. This was part of the second-pass approval announcement for the MH-60R project.

This working group has been formed by the Department of Defence and the Department of Industry.

The Departments provide support to industry, and act as points of contact and referral. 

Doing business with MH-60R contractors

The MH-60R program is a large, long term naval helicopter program based on the USN’s program to acquire up to 300 new MH-60 series aircraft.
There is some opportunity for Australian companies to participate in the global supply chains of MH-60R Team Romeo prime contractors with regards to the future sustainment of MH-60 in Australia and Asia-Pacific region. However, there is no guaranteed work share and Australian companies need to actively seek opportunities by engaging with the global supply chain offices of Team Romeo members.

Team Romeo members are Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation (airframe manufacturer), Lockheed Martin (mission systems integrator), General Electric (engines), Raytheon (sensors) and CAE (aircrew and maintenance simulators).

Awarded Contracts 

To date the following Australian companies have been awarded contracts for project AIR 9000 Phase 8:

  • Logistics Engineering Services (LES) Pty Ltd has been sub-contracted by Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation (via Sikorsky Helitech) to develop a Weapon System Database (WSDB), a Technical Maintenance Plan (TMP) and a Planned Servicing Schedule (PSS) to support the MH-60R when it enters Australian service;
  • Sikorsky Helitech has been contracted by the DMO to provide warehousing and supply support services in Jacksonville, Florida, USA to support initial MH-60R maintenance, training and consolidation, enabling the Royal Australian Naval to quickly build skills and competency on the Seahawk Romeo. BAE Systems Australia has been contracted by the DMO to design, integrate, test and install a range of modifications to the Anzac class frigates to enable integration of the
    MH-60R, its support systems and weapons;
  • The Air Warfare Destroyer Alliance has been contracted by the DMO to establish a requirements baseline for the Hobart class destroyers to enable integration of the MH-60R and its support systems and weapons.  This effort will primarily focus on modifications to support the stowage and support of the MH-60R weapons suite and modification to lighting to support Night Vision Device operations; and
  • CAE Australia has been sub-contracted by CAE-USA to develop the Visual Database for the Australian MH-60R Tactical Operational Flight Trainers, also known as Flight Simulators.

Team Romeo Contacts

The following table provides the point of contact for Team Romeo’s industrial personnel:

​Company ​Contact ​Email ​Phone
Lockheed Martin Neale Prescott
Tom Donofrio ​
+61(0)419 622 886
+61(0)7751 5529​
Sikorsky ​ Joe Hreschak
Chris Clapperton​
+1 (203) 386 3233
+61(0) 418 716 829​
CAE​  David Kramer​ +1 (813) 887 1407​
GE​ Bruno Parolin​ +61 (0) 419445712

Department of Industry Contact

The Department of Industry Joint Working Group can be contacted via the Defence, Aerospace and Marine Industries Section:


Ministerial announcements:

 Related information on Department of Defence websites:

Related Media   

Share this Page